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Lemieux: I’m going to hurt Saunders VERY badly

By Allan Fox: If former IBF 160-pound belt holder David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) has his way, he’s going to BADLY hurt WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12 KOs) this Saturday night in their fight.

(Photo credit: Vincent Ethier/EOTTM)

Saunders will have his WBO title on the line against Lemieux on Saturday at the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, Canada. HBO will be televising the fight live.

Lemieux has got a lot of anger at Saunders for the way he been insulting him on a routine basis since the fight was signed over 2 months ago. The last fighter that angered Lemieux with trash talking was Curtis Stevens, and he was knocked unconscious in the 3rd round in their fight on March 11 in Verona, New York.

Lemieux said he was going to do a number on Stevens going into that fight, and that’s exactly what he did. Stevens hasn’t fought since suffering his brutal knockout against Lemieux 9 months ago.

Lemieux is hoping that he can get a fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez if he wins this Saturday. Lemieux is saying Golden Boy Promotions boss Oscar De La Hoya is going to let him fight Canelo next.

“Hopefully,” said Lemieux, when asked by if he’s interested in fighting Canelo next if he beats Saunders. “I want to get them both [Canelo and Gennady Golovkin]. De La Hoya said on the social networks that after I get the WBO title, we’re going to be fighting against Canelo. So, I guess that’s the plan,” said Lemieux.

It’s doubtful Golden Boy will let Lemieux fight Canelo next unless he’s interested in sitting out of action until after Canelo fights Gennady Golovkin on May 5. It’s too risky for Golden Boy Promotions to put Canelo in with Lemieux before he faces Golovkin in a rematch. If Canelo loses to Lemieux, it would ruin the Golovkin rematch. Regardless of what happens this Saturday, Lemieux will get a shot against Canelo sooner or later. They’re both with Golden Boy Promotions, and both guys like to punch it out. The boxing public will still want to see Canelo fight Lemieux even if the Canadian gets beaten by Saunders.

”The ring is my house. Wherever I fight, it’s my home,” said Lemieux. ”Saunders, I’m very confident with fighting him, and bringing the WBO belt back home. He’s a big trash talker. I don’t think he’s got the biggest IQ. The talk is done this week. Now it’s time to talk with the fists. I’m going to hurt him very badly in the ring. That’s where I want Saunders. I want him in the ring and that’s it,” said Lemieux.

Lemieux is saying he’s going to hurt Saunders. You better believe Lemieux is going to be trying to take Saunders’ head off. Even if Saunders moves around the ring continuously for 12 rounds, and holds at any chance he can get, he’s going to have his chin checked by Lemieux multiple times. Andy Lee wore Saunders down with power shots in the second half of their fight in 2015.

Saunders still won the fight by a close 12 round majority decision, but only because he knocked the fragile-chinned Lee down 2 times in round 3. Saunders isn’t a big puncher, and Lemieux can take a pretty good shot. If Saunders spoil enough to keep from getting hit, he’s going to get taken out by Lemieux. Using head movement isn’t going to save Saunders from getting nailed. Lemieux will focus his punches downstairs to the body and look to score a knockout with a body shot. Saunders might drop his hands to protect his body after he starts getting hit to the midsection. Once he does that, he’ll get nailed upstairs with a left hook.

”I guarantee you on Saturday you’re going to have more entertainment than that fight,” said Lemieux in talking about last Saturday’s Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux fight. ”The world wants to see blood and punches, and that’s what we’re going to give them,” said Lemieux.

There’s no way of comparing Lemieux-Saunders with the terrible fight from last Saturday night between super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux. That was a real stinker of a fight, and not just because Rigondeaux. Lomachenko was TV as well. Lemieux at least can be counted on to make for an exciting fight on Saturday. Saunders is a different story. He might choose to run for the entire fight, and just survive.

Saunders is in the wrong place for him to try and steal a victory by spoiling for 12 rounds. If the fight was in the UK, Saunders might get away with a robbery like he arguably did in his fight against Artur Akavov last December in Scotland. Most boxing fans that saw that fight had Akavov winning. Saunders will need to fight Lemieux if he wants to keep his WBO title, because the judges aren’t going to let him hold and run the entire fight and keep given a decision win.

”Bill has got a good chance,” said Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren to Behind The Gloves. ”He can fight. More importantly, he’s got himself in top condition. His new trainer has done a great job with him. Mentally, he’s focused. He’s mentally on the money, so I’m very happy he’s going to do the business, and put on a good display on HBO. That’ll help force the winner of Canelo-Golovkin, if they get it on in May, that Bill gets the opportunity to fight the winner,” said Warren.

I wouldn’t say that Saunders has a good chance of beating Lemieux. I think he’s got a chance to beat Lemieux, but not a good one based on the location of the fight, and how bad Saunders has looked in his last 2 fights. He’s not impressed at all against Willie Monroe Jr. and Akavov.

Even in Saunders’ win over Lee in 2015, he was gone after 5 rounds. Saunders was tired for the last 7 rounds, and he ended up getting the worst of it in the last half of the fight. For the boxing fans that have selective recall of the Saunders-Lee fight, they need to look at it again and focus on watching closely the last 7 rounds. Lee controlled the entire second half of the fight. That was the last time Saunders fought and looked reasonably good, and he only performed efficiently in the first 5 rounds.

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